Our senior leadership team brings a wealth of experience, forward thinking, and a commitment to our mission to being the Global Leader of Restaurant and Entertainment Brands for families and our teams.
President and Chief Executive OfficerFull Bio
President and Chief Executive Officer
David McKillips assumed the role of CEO on January 21, 2020. CEC Entertainment is the parent company of the world’s number one family entertainment venue, Chuck E. Cheese, Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings and growing regional pizza restaurant Peter Piper Pizza. Across the family of brands, there are nearly 700 restaurants around the globe.
David has nearly 30 years of experience in the family entertainment, media and theme park industries. Since joining CEC, he was named one of Dallas’ Most Admired CEOs by Dallas Business Journal for his leadership during one of the most difficult times for the Chuck E. Cheese brand. During his tenure, he managed bankruptcy, a successful financial restructuring, launched Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings, is expanding the brand internationally and created a new division for global media licensing and entertainment to take the iconic Chuck E. Cheese brand to new dimensions.
Before joining CEC, David was President of the International Development Company for Six Flags Entertainment Corporation. McKillips served in several senior leadership roles in Park Services, F&B, retail, games and procurement across all U.S. Six Flags parks.
Prior to joining Six Flags, he served as Vice President of Advertising & Custom Publishing Sales for DC Comics, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment and home to some of the world’s most iconic brands. McKillips has also held multiple leadership roles within Sea World Entertainment and Sesame Place.
McKillips holds a B.A. degree in Communication Studies from the University of Georgia and received post-graduate certificates in Marketing and Finance from New York University.
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Peter Piper PizzaFull Bio
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Peter Piper Pizza
Jim Brawley is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Peter Piper Pizza. Jim, a 30-year industry veteran is responsible for refining operations and growing the brand’s U.S. presence, including new brand concepts Peter Piper Pizza Express and Peter Piper Pizzeria. The company currently operates and franchises restaurants in Texas, New Mexico, California, Arizona, and Mexico.
His previous role at CEC was as western regional vice president where he oversaw nearly 150 fun centers across 18 states and built a proven track record of improving company performance and developing talent. After spending several years with McDonald’s, including as a general manager and franchisee coordinator, Jim joined CEC as a General Manager at the Springfield, PA location in December 2001. He was promoted to District Manager in 2005, to Area Director in 2008, and in 2013 I promoted him to Regional Vice President for the Northeast region.
Jim is also an Executive Sponsor of our Diversity & Inclusion Council since its formation in 2021 and is strongly committed to the mission and goals of our D&I initiative. His demonstrated leadership, strength in developing people, and deep and wide business knowledge will help lead the accelerated growth vision of the Peter Piper brand.
Jim is a native of Pennsylvania and received his Bachelor of Science in Restaurant and Hospitality Management from Widener University.
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of International OperationsFull Bio
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of International Operations
Mario Centola is Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of International Operations and Chuck E. Cheese Worldwide Franchise Development. In this role, Mario will be responsible for leading the strategy and growth of the brand’s international efforts and expansion into new and existing markets.
Mario has over 25 years’ experience in out-of-home entertainment, theme parks and international development space having worked for several regional theme park companies during his career. Prior to joining CEC Entertainment, Mario served as the served as the Senior Vice President of In-Park Services at Six Flags Entertainment, where he oversaw capital planning, engineering, maintenance, international operations, and commercial activities, inclusive of sales and corporate partnerships. Mario’s operational background is complimented by his strong financial background having served as Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer and Vice President of Financial Planning and Strategy during his 21-year tenure at Six Flags Entertainment.
Mr. Centola holds a B.S. degree in Finance from Miami University and a Master’s degree in both Business Administration and Information Systems from The University of Akron.
Vice President of Human ResourcesFull Bio
Vice President of Human Resources
Denise Clemens is a seasoned HR professional with extensive experience in the restaurant industry. She is currently serving as the VP of Human Resources at CEC Entertainment, a role she has held since June 2021. In this position, she works closely with senior management to develop and implement HR policies and practices that align with the company’s business strategy. She also plays a key role in developing a strong company culture that attracts and retains top talent.
Prior to joining CEC Entertainment, Denise held several other senior HR roles. She was the SVP of Human Resources at Corner Bakery Cafe from August 2005 to February 2006, where she was responsible for all HR functions. Before that, she was the Director of Human Resources at Brinker International from 2003 to 2005, where she oversaw the development and implementation of HR policies for over 1,500 employees.
Denise earned her Masters of Science in Human Resources Development from Villanova University in 2013. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati, which she earned between 1980 and 1985.
Throughout her career, Denise has been recognized as a skilled HR leader with a track record of success in talent acquisition, retention, and engagement. She is a respected member of the HR community and a sought-after speaker and mentor.
Vice President, Legal and ComplianceFull Bio
Vice President, Legal and Compliance
David Deck serves as VP, Legal & Compliance for CEC Entertainment and VP, General Counsel & Secretary for Peter Piper Pizza. He is a persistent, reliable, and loyal leader whose tenure with the Company spans more than 20 years.
In his role, he is currently responsible for managing Company litigation across a number of specialized areas including but not limited to, general business, personal injury, and real estate matters; employment-related matters such as legislative monitoring and EEOC responses; negotiating and drafting the Company’s international and domestic development and franchise agreements; drafting and negotiating numerous service, supply, promotional, IP licenses, and information technology contracts and managing and overseeing the
ongoing development of the Company’s global intellectual property strategy.
David holds a Bachelor of Science, in Legal Studies, from the University of Central Florida and a Juris Doctor from Texas A&M University School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in the state of Texas. Outside of the office, he enjoys working on his 1964 Chevy Nova, and watching movies with his wife, Katie, their two children, Austin and Evelyn, their Pugs, Chloe and Po, and Shih Tzu, Honey.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating OfficerFull Bio
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Randy Forsythe serves as CEC’s Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and President of Peter Piper Pizza. He originally joined the Company in 1982, when it was known as Showbiz Pizza. Now, after more than 39 years, Randy attributes his continued success to consistent hard work and a unique ability to pivot and meet the market demands and trends of each new generation.
In his role, Randy is responsible for managing field operations, global sourcing, purchasing, the games department, construction, and learning & development. He’s held several leadership positions that have shaped the operations infrastructure, including roles such as Regional Vice President across multiple regions.
Since joining the company, Randy has expanded operations from 37 restaurants to more than 500 locations globally. He claims people are his greatest asset and relationships across the company are like family. When Randy is not working, he enjoys sports, boating, and spending time with his wife, Kathy, son, Brandon, and daughter, Lauren
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial OfficerFull Bio
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Jim Howell brings over 30 years of experience to his current role as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of CEC Entertainment.
Jim previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Billabong International Ltd., and spent 10 years at Nordstrom Inc., most recently as their Executive Vice President – Finance and Treasurer. Prior to that, Jim served in leadership roles at various companies including CAE SimuFlite, Inc., Blockbuster, Inc., and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Union University and a Graduate Certificate from the Barret School of Banking. He is also a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in the state of Tennessee.
Vice President, Global Licensing, Media & Branded EntertainmentFull Bio
Vice President, Global Licensing, Media & Branded Entertainment
Melissa McLeanas joined CEC Entertainment in 2020 as Vice President, Global Licensing, Media and Branded Entertainment Development. With more than 20 years of experience in entertainment media and licensing, she is charged with creating new revenue streams for the company through strategic business relationships and
licensed brand extensions, strengthening Chuck E.’s position as a premiere character and entertainment icon across new categories and media platforms.
A dynamic leader and sharp tactical thinker, she has launched defining go-to-market strategies and global partnerships for consumer engagement worldwide for a diverse portfolio of high-profile brands. Most recently Melissa served as Director of International Licensing, Design and Development for Six Flags Entertainment, responsible for the ideation, creation and execution of in-bound licensing strategy for Six Flags international properties. Previously Melissa was Director of Partnership Marketing, overseeing the strategic growth and development of Six Flags’ Global Sponsorship Division. Prior to Six Flags, Melissa managed National Partnerships for 20th Century FoX Films.
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Finance, with a concentration in Entertainment, Media, and Technology, from New York University, Stern School of Business. Melissa currently resides in Dallas and is an avid runner, she enjoys exploring new places on foot across the world and immersing herself in local culture.
Rudy Rodríguez, Jr
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Human Resources Officer, and Corporate SecretaryFull Bio
Rudy Rodríguez, Jr
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Human Resources Officer, and Corporate Secretary
Rudy Rodríguez, Jr. joined CEC in 2014 and serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Human Resources Officer, and Corporate Secretary. He is responsible for the Company’s Human Resources, Legal, Compliance, Risk Management, and Licensing teams, and leads its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives. Rudy is a collaborative and empathetic leader. His focus on ethics, communication, and service drive performance for each member of his teams.
Before CEC, Rudy practiced commercial and employment litigation at several Dallas-area law firms and Fortune 500 legal departments. He was Vice President and General Counsel of American Eagle Airlines from 2000 to 2003. He is a member of the American Law Institute and serves on the boards of directors of the Dallas Zoological Society and several other legal and charitable organizations.
Rudy received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas A&M University and his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. He is an avid runner and huge sports fan. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, watching movies, and traveling with his wife Stacy and their two grown children, Grace and Jimmy.
Vice President of Marketing for Peter Piper PizzaFull Bio
Vice President of Marketing for Peter Piper Pizza
Tanya Sparkman is Vice President of Marketing for Peter Piper Pizza. In this role, she oversees all aspects of marketing and brand strategy for the flagship concept along with to-go only Peter Piper Express, and the new fast-casual restaurant, Peter Piper Pizzeria. Tanya works alongside senior leadership to further develop Peter Piper Pizza’s overall brand presence within the marketplace and support the brand’s continued growth and expansion.
Tanya offers a wealth of experience in the industry having worked with restaurant brands like Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Outback Steakhouse, The Cheesecake Factory and Johnny Rockets among others. With more than 20 years of restaurant and hospitality branding and marketing experience and a passion for the industry, her talents will amplify Peter Piper’s brand growth trajectory.
In previous leadership and strategic roles, she led and developed franchisee relationships, menu evolution, and off-premises and delivery as well as loyalty innovation. Her expertise will help take all the expressions of the Peter Piper Pizza brand to new markets and new partners. Tanya holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University. She is a world traveler and culinary enthusiast.
Vice President, Information TechnologyFull Bio
Vice President, Information Technology
Jay Spears, Vice President of Information Technology for CEC Entertainment, has over 30 years of experience in the technology space and has delivered successful programs and technological solutions for several organizations.
Jay is a creative and passionate leader focused on maximizing the value of technology investments. His experience spans across entertainment, advertising, insurance, retail, public accounting, aerospace manufacturing, and software consulting. Prior to joining the Company, he held leadership positions at such organizations as Urban Air Adventure Parks, EZLynx, Six Flags, and KPMG LLP.
Jay studied computer science, physics, and mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. In his free time, he enjoys golf, cycling, hunting, fishing, and almost anything outdoors. Jay is a huge Texas Rangers fan. He and his wife Mauri have three sons – Robert, Will, and Luke – their cat, May, and two Sheepadoodles, Millie and Ellie.